He also gets to channel d-bag actors everywhere.
As the older, self-absorbed brother of Blaine, Bomer's Cooper Anderson is recruited by Coach Sue to help New Directions — don't worry, she's got her reasons — in Tuesday's new episode of Glee (8/7c, Fox). How? By putting on a master class in acting to help the kids, you know, emote for Nationals!
The actor talked to TVGuide.com about playing the clueless Cooper and whether or not he'll be back before the end of the season:
Cooper's so cool he says things like "cray cray." How naturally did that come to you?
Matt Bomer: [Laughs.] The line in the script was actually "crazy" but I had just heard someone say "cray cray" a few days before filming and I said to myself, "Cray cray — what does that mean?" Someone told me it meant crazy, and I was like, "Oh, I'm totally using that in this scene. Maybe I can contribute to the zeitgeist a little bit with "cray cray"!
Coach Sue asks Cooper to sign a very special part of her body. Tell us all about it.
Bomer: Listen, between that and getting to kiss her, I'm the luckiest guy on the planet. As one would expect, Jane came to play.
So it wasn't even a little awkward?
Bomer: Whether or not that's going to be weird is sort of always in the hands of the person whose body part is getting signed. But she totally just committed to it from the get-go, so it was actually really fun.
You're also working with series boss Ryan Murphy on the movie version of Broadway's The Normal Heart. How did your role on Glee come about?
Bomer: Ryan called and asked if I wanted to play Blaine's brother. When he told me the arc, I had tears rolling down my face. Ryan, [executive producer] Ian Brennan, who is also a friend of mine, and [consulting producer] Michael Hitchcock just put together this real comedic gift of a role. Cooper's got such strong convictions and opinions about acting that are all completely idiosyncratic and, you know, not to be shared in public. Or with groups of kids [laughs].
He's also pretty unaware when it comes to how his little brother feels about him. Blaine's not a fan.
Bomer: Exactly. He has the absolute best intentions, and those are to save Blaine and his classmates from the slings and arrows of showbiz... unfortunately, that advice comes from a very misguided place.
So you don't turn in to a pose for headshots?
Bomer: Oh, you always turn in to a pose [laughs].
Cooper's first "song" is actually a commercial that he does for FreeCreditRatingToday.com.
Bomer: It was the first thing we shot, so within the first five minutes of my arrival on set, they had me dancing around, being as cheesy as possible. McKinley's obsessed with the commercial, but I wanted it to have a twinge of extreme desperation underneath. Oh, and if you look closely, watch for this dancing cop in the background. He does these spins and ends with his leg out and gun pointed in the air. [Choreographer] Zach Woodlee did such a good job with the extras and the dancing in it! It's a rare treat to be this silly.
Are you afraid of angry NCIS fans? This episode name-checks and takes a dig at the show, which just so happens to be Glee's main time slot competition...
Bomer: I certainly hope they won't be mad! I mean, Cote de Pablo is one of my best friends! We went to college together. I hope we don't incur any wrath. I don't think it's necessarily a dig at that particular show... it's just the type of show Cooper auditioned for, probably to play a corpse.
I'm willing to bet there is a lot of footage from the master class that was cut out of the episode for time, am I right?
Bomer: There was a take where they let me get into The Emotional Tornado, but after a minute of that I fell out of it laughing.
Obviously, you can sing. But were you intimidated to perform that Duran Duran mash-up? It's Duran Duran!
Bomer: Well, both songs ["Rio" and "Hungry Like the Wolf"] were incredibly surreal for me to perform because I shared a room with my brother growing up and ironically we used to go to bed listening to the Duran Duran tape. Yes, I did just date myself and say "tape" — honesty is important though! Anyways, we'd go to bed listening to "Rio" and "The Reflex" and all that.
What are they chances that Cooper will be back on the show?
Bomer: Not before the season ends, he won't. But hopefully next season he will!
Glee airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Fox.
Watch Bomer and Darren Criss perform "Somebody That I Used to Know" below: